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The New York freeman. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1884-1887, March 07, 1885, Image 1

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The New York Freeman.
VOL I. NO. 16.
GEORGE THOMAS DOWNING.
PROF. STEWART SKETCHES
AN EVENTFUL LIFE.
Early Struggles and Victories—
Some o£ the Great Men He Knew
and Labored With. —The Nature
of the Work He Assisted to Per
form.
Prepared for The Freeman.
They were giants in those days! Giants
in body, in mind, in soul, in deeds. The
fight for immediate and unconditional eman
cipation, under the leadership of Garrison,
called for hearty valiant men, who were not
afraid to die. Such were Douglass, Garnet,
Crummell, - ©lark and Reason. Pre-emi
nently such was the subject of our sketch,
George Thomas Downing.
The commanding figure and kingly bear
in„ of Downing are too well and generally
known to require description. As a rule,
leaders are of striking personal aj pearance.
•‘ Who is that?” is the question naturally
and immediately suggested to the stranger
on seeing Oetewayo, Roberts of Liberia,
Bismarck, Gladstone, Sumner, Douglass,
Garnet— Downing.
About a century and a half ago, a Metho
dist revival took place in Jinketig, Accomac
County, Virginia.
There lived in the little town a wealthy
and influential slave-holder named Captain
John Downing. The traveling minister,
who led in the revival, made it a condition
of acceptance into the church that the ap
plicant for membership should own no
slaves. Capt. Downing decided to serve the
Lord, and, therefore, decreed immediate and
unconditional emancipation unto his
bondmen ami women. Among the emanci
pated was a young girl. She grew to
womanhood, and bore a family of children.
Among them was Thomas Downing, the il
lustrious father of the subject of our sketch.
Grandmother Downing was a woman of
commanding presence, possessing strong
natural traits of character and an aggres”
siveness which made her a leader in the
community. Her house, 'which was near
the church established after the revival
was visited every Sabbath by the first fam
ilies of the neighborhood. This contact gave
the Downings prestige, and developed a
force of character which strikingly con
tracted with that of the rest of the people of
color in the neighborhood.
Thomas Downing removed to the North,
bringing the strong pushing character which
he inherited from his mother and which was
developed under elevating early associations.
After living awhile in Philadelphia, he fln
nally located in New York city, where he
and his wife soon became known to the best
society and took an active part in public af
fairs.
George, the eldest son of Thomas and Re
beera Downing, was born Dec. 30, 1819.
He inherited his father’s aggressive temper
ament and manly character. He was reared
under Christian influences and taught ben
evolence; but he was also trained to stand
up for his own rights and those of the weak
and to repel all invasions with force, if nec
es<ary. lie was no “mamby pamby,” no
“soft crabbed” boy.
It was no easy thing fifty and sixty years
ago for a colored boy to pass to and from
school even in New York city. Negro chil
dren were insulted, stoned and beaten.
Many had to be attended daily by parents
or guardians. But not so with George.
Single handed and alone, he often fought
his way through gangs of insulting white
children, and leading other colored boys he
sometimes droVe the white fellows from the
streets.
The first school George attended was a
private one kept by a Mr. Charles Smith on
Orange street, nearly opposite the hall of
the Mutual Relief Society, whose founders
should be remembered and revered as noble
pioneers m efforts to uplift the race. He
< 10 the old Mulberry Street
• r .001 whose scholars became eminent
। ia< <rs in the battle of life. Among those
of hl\ he ^ btare ’ Phili P A - B «H, Editor
iA \ ^ ra owsco Elevator, Patrick H.
‘ printer, New York
A/ r ; ^‘“Miell and Prof. Reason. Among
Ln U 'l U S- Sydney, George Al-
. Smith '• Pe Grasse > dames McCune
well V, Unry Bl #idand Garnet and others
well known to the public.
snoa nt °f the above George pur
the studies in school and enjoyed
,ls ° 01 OulsiJi Private m
cietr in k^^v° rKan . lze d a literary so
ject? ” ahk 1 discussed “live sub
fonrt ^though boys averaging yet from
fourteen to sixteen years of age, thev becan
the TIT e Zi th proble,ns connected with
E? ?° f he ra ? e ’ Thcy ado P ted a res*
bra t 0 rt 'frain from cele-
tical iFr tbe Eourth of July because in prac-
w a< /‘ a t ie . Bec laration of Independence
. a t 0 co ored citizens of the United States
“perfect mockery.”
S p } lbbc career began when
t nihr p a , youth - As an agent of the
awav nV'^d E ad road, he helped to spirit
placed ® H? nry ’ the slave who was
“tod in th h< V a *i ^ ew York, then situ-
Hali, a the , k ’ near wh ere the old City
matter He Was arrested but the
slave c ?“>Promised. The value of the
M n paid ‘
tivitv T Wn ? ag is a man °f the greatest ac
“fest’” ir UI ? tbere is no suc h word as
CUsXa Hls • aof heaven is ceaseless pro-
RX W' llecould n °t he quiet if
of the n ? i an . am sure that with his views
re Pose i'/}? ° f 1 race ’ lie would not be in
4 GennaS Wi l h the coolness of
English of the
‘he crownin aS das i °f the French and
c °uld hr. h v a ? dor of tbe African. How
his life with than fill up
deeds, t thought and work and noble
a book- to j C ^ Ut th Cln ft H would require
‘“aster’mind > ‘i™ Jusllce would require a
Mr G nU and pen *
has been r ° Wn - ing is a name which
.'’ears. t|- P u hhc print for the last fiftv
creased with aud usefulness have in
thejimo f ,r t ^ s yea ”« He was active at
Sla SoLl ® of th e Anti-
e ° le d nonki i u “ttended conventions
ople to better their condition.
He was one of the famous committee of thir
teen which was organized at the time of the
enactment of the J ugitive Slave Law. This
committee had much to do with arousing
public sentiment against the enforcement of
that iniquitous measure. Mr. Downing was
selected by his co mmittee to deliver an address
of welcome to that illustrious Hungarian
patriot, Louis Kossuth, on his famous visit
to this country. He was active in the efforts
to abolish the properly qualification placed
upon colored people by the State of New
York. In those days every colored man in
order to vote had to own two hundred and
nitj dollars worth of real estate propert5 r .
Mr. Downing in early life took an active
part in organizing the Grand United Order
of Odd Fellows. He was Grand Master for
several years in connection with the sub
committee of management for'the continent
of America. He was also active in Masonic
circles being now a Royal Arch Mason.
Mr. Downing possesses an ex’ a istl s < fund
of information. He is well read. Thtn, too
ins persona reminiscences and recollections
27*™ and of public men
would fill a volume. Parker Pillsbury
has written his Recollections of the Anti
blavery Struggle,” and Johnson has given
us his Garrison and His Times.” 1 wish
we could have a book on the “Negro Agita
tors in the Anti-Slavery Struggle.” Who
will write it ? Thousands would read such
a book.
although often politely and cordially in
™ted ’ 1 tTV Ver had the Pleast re of
meeting Mr. Downing in the bosom of his
f aunly; but in the quiet of his brother’s
Brooklyn home, and in the Ransom Parker
household dear to them both, in Providence,
1 have had the privilege more than once of
drawing around the cheerful stove fire, and
in the deepening shadows of twilight listen
ing with delight to how battles were fought
and won. In imagination I have seen and
heard Douglass in youth thundering with
Ciceronian, with Demosthenesian fire and
eloquence against the slave-holdeYs. I have
seen, asserting itself in many ways, the
genius of Garnet and the overpowering el
oqueir .f Ward. In praising the abilities
and in recounting the deeds of Crummell,
and McCune Smith, and Reason, and
Clarke, Mr. Downing seemed to lose sight
ot himself; but the listener could see the
hero of many a conflict of mind and arm in
the stalwart form, the flashing eye, the ar
dent manner, the eloquent voice and courtly
manners of the brilliant conversationalist—a
living epistle of inspiration unto young men
urging them to earnestness, manliness’
courage, progress.
Mr. Downing has written and spoken
much for his race without asking or receiv
ing pecuniary reward and often at a personal
sacrifice. He is always ready to respond
whenever and wherever the trumpet calls to
arms. Years ago he was in New Bedford
when a despatch came calling upon the
.friends of freedom to repair forthwith to
Boston. He took the first train for the
Hub. It was at the time of the agitation
over the fugitive slave, Anthony Burns.
While standing on the streets of Boston a
body of men from Worcester marched by
with a banner inscribed “Freedom.” A
number of police assaulted the procession
and captured the flag. Mr. Downing’s
whole nature was aroused. He rushed into
the crowd and used his muscles, strength
and agility for all they were worth. After
a desperate struggle, in which the banner
was torn almost to shreds, he captured it
from the police, and amidst expressions of
admiration at his courage and strength and
applause at his success, he bore the emblem
to the office of Robert Morris, which was
near by.
Mr. Downing, with J. S. Martin, took a con
spicuous part in the John Brown meeting in
Tremont Temple. The meeting had been
publicly announced, but leading Beacon
street citizens and the city authorities de
cided that it should not be held. This,
however, did not stop the movement, or pre
vent the meeting. It was held; but the
police, who were out in full power, over
powered the people. The meeting was
therefore adjourned, to meet again in the
evening in the Joy Street Baptist Church, a
then stronghold of the colored people. No
tice was given and the friends of freedom
were urged to be out in full force in the
evening. The Mayor of Boston sent for
Messrs. Downing and Martin and attempted
to dissuade them from holding the meeting.
He said that blood would flow if the meet
ing was held. The courageous colored
leaders replied that they had the right to
assemble, and that*they were determined to
have free speech in Boston. The Mayor
then spoke of his inability to furnish suffi
cient force to protect the meeting. He was
told in reply that it was a matter for him to
decide; that they had not been protected in
their meeting in Tremont Temple by the
authorities, but that they were determined
to meet that night in their own church, and,
if necessary, protect themselves; that they
would prepare for any emergency. Placards
were widely distributed and posted calling
upon the enemy to be out in force. A
howling mob of thousands gathered in the
neighborhood and around the church at the
hour of meeting; but the friends of free
dom, nothing daunted and fully armfid,
packed the edifice. The meeting was held.
The right of free speech was vindicated.
The skulking, faithless authorities were
whipped into line. The whole police force
and the militia were called out, and thus the
shedding of blood, the sacrifice of life and
the consequent destruction of property were
prevented. The Martyr John Brown was
honored. His son was there with two re
volvers and a bowie-knife, which he laid on
the Bible when he stood up to speak. Wen
dell Phillips made a characteristic speech,
full of tire and eloquence. At the close of
the meeting a few betook themselves to Mr.
Downing’s house, and slept on their arms,
or rather watched with their weapons of de
fence in their hands, prepared to resist to
the death any attack that might be made
upon them. Young John Brown was the
centre of this “Daniel’s Band,” who dared
to stand up for the right.
Mr. Downing was instrumental during
the war in forming several colored regi
ments, but not until he obtained from John
A. Andrew, the “war Governor” of Massa
chusetts, written assurances that he would
exert the whole power of the State to secure
for every soldier equal and exact justice, to
NEW YORK: SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 1885.
GEORGE THOMAS DOWNING, OF RHODE ISLAND.
prevent any discrimination on account of
color.
While on a visit to Washington in con
nection with the enlistment of colored
troops, the Hon. Nathan F. Dixon, then
member of Congress from Rhore Island, sug
gested that Mr. Downing take charge of the
House restaurant. After maturely consid
ering the subject Mr. Downing decided to
take charge of this department and use it as
a channel through which to serve the inter
ests of his race. As its head he was brought
in contact with leading statesmen of both
parties, whose respect and confidence he
never failed to secure and to keep. He was
daily consulted upon matters of legislation
affecting the colored people.
He became very intimate with Charles
Sumner. A warm feeling of mutual regard
sprang up between them. They ofte<i vis
ited each other. While grasping Mr.
Downing’s hand the great Senator cried, in
substance, “Don’t let my Civil Rights bill
fail, and then “slept the sleep that knows
no waking.”
Downing had the Senate gallery at
. ashington thrown open to colored persons
in the Vice-presidency of Hannibal Hamlin.
One of the attendants in the restaurant, who
had been in the employ of his predecessor,
came to him one day and reported the pres
ence of colored people, with an air and look
which meant, what shall I do? Mr. Down
ing unhesitatingly said, “Serve them, and
send to me any one who mav complain.”
He and his family were the'first colored
persons to occupy a box in a Washington
theatre, thus testing and vindicating
civil rights to the fullest extent. He
led in stopping the disgraceful treatment
of colored persons traveling between Wash
ington and Baltimore on the Baltimore &
Ohio R. R. Mr. Downing called Mr. Sum
ner's attention to the matter. The Senator
spoke of it in the Senate when legislation
affecting the road came up. An official of
the road assured Mr. Downing that the
grievance would be remedied. At the sug
gestion of Mr. Sumner Mr. Downing wrote
a let.ter to that effect and addressed it to tke
Senator, who read it before the Senate and
withdrew his objection.
Mr. Downing took a prominent part in
efforts to reconstruct the South. It was his
proposition to send delegates from the sev
eral States to Washington to remain there
during the session of Congress. The prop
osition was earnestly indorsed by Horace
Greely. It was carried out. Mr. Downing
headed it. The delegation held that well
known interview with President Johnson in
which a running debate took place much to
the discomfiture of “His Excellei o
Mr. Downing was doubtless the most effi
cient agency in securing the first appoint
ment of a colored gentleman as Minister in
the Diplomatic Corps of the United States
Government. In this connection the able
and scholarly Mr. Bassett had the honor to
be appointed Minister Resident and Consul-
General for the United States to the Repub
lic of Hayti. In a word, where there have
been rights to maintain, equal and exact
justice to secure, wrongs to redress, great
problems affecting the race to be solved,
Mr. Downing has taken a leading, often the
leading part, for nearly half a century.
Everywhere has his plume been seen in the
thickest of the fight for unconditional eman
cipation, civil rights and universal suffrage.
With Douglass, and Garnet, and Ward, and
Langston, he has led the race out of the
darkness of physical bondage into the bright
light of freedom. It is now for the younger
men —the host that no man can number —to
gather inspiration from the lives and labors
of our heroic seniors, and thus prepare for
exclusive leadership when in the course of
nature the veterans, like Garnet, must re
tire.
Mr. Downing’s efforts in his adopted
State, Rhode Island, have been signally ef
fective. It was mainly through his efforts
that distinction on account of color was
abolished in the public schools. For 12 years
he besieged the legislature till the victorv
was won. He and others at the time^ re
fused to support the Republican party’s
nominees and put up their own candidate,
making the school question an issue. He
traveled through the State appealing to the
friends of equality before the law. His can
didates received a decent vote. The next
legislature removed the proscriptive features
from the statute book and now colored and
white children sit side by side in the same
schools, and under the same instruction.
In a municipal election in Newport, Mr.
Downing and others supported a Democrat
with the understanding that the colored
people should be represented by one of their
number on the school committee of the city.
I he Democratic aidermen kept their pledges.
Ine Rev. Mahlon Vanhorn was elected to
the committee, and he has served several
terms.
Mr. Downing labored to have repeated the
law agan,H the inter-marriage of the races,
and that limiting to a property qualification
the franchise of naturalized citizens. He took
a decided stand against discrimination in the
re-ogamzation of the Rhode Island militia.
Ihe Governor commissioned him captain of
a colored company of the State militia. Mr.
Downing immediately returned the commis
sion with a letter protesting against the dis
crimination. The governor, be it said to his
credit, promptly sent a new one with no
qualifying phrase.
In the last campaign, Mr. Downing re
fused to support Mr. Blaine. He was made
the target of much private and some public
criticisms, but he believed that the Republi
can party had proven faithless to the col
ored people, and that neither the party nor
its unfortunate candidate was worthy of the
suffrages of the former unflinching and
unfailing colored allies.
Mr. Downing had come to feel that the
Democratic party of to-day is not what it
was twenty-five years ago. After a Repub
lican Supreme Court declared Civil Rights
legislation null and void, he conferred per
sonally in some cases and by letter with
leading Democrats in New Jersey, Connecti
cut and Ohio, and found thenuready to ac
cord equal and exact justice to all men. He
found Democrats voting for and passing
laws for the enforcement of Civil Rights. It
whs^ no difficult thing for him to -oppose
Blaine. r
Mr. Downing sees the necessity and wisdom
for a division of the colored vote. He hopes
that the Democrats who do not enjoy the
confidence of the colored people may so act
now that they havejhe power, as to make it
possible for colored men to support their
public policy without a sacrifice of self re
spect or a compromise of manhood. From
what he is reading in newspapers, from
what he gathers by personal contract with,
and from letters written him Ly leading
Democrats in high official position, Mr.
Downing believes that this party will’adopt
his views and will seek to conciliate, win
over at least a part of the colored vote, and
thus take the color question out of politics,
and emancipate the race from political serf
dom.
By nature, an independent and bold
thinker; by nature having the courage of
his convictions,- his contact on terms of
personal intimacy with Sumner, Phillips,
Garrison, Theodore Parker, and the early
abolitionists, has made Mr. Downing a fear
less leader sans pear et sans reproche. His
acquaintance with the public men of our
country was very wide. He knew personally
Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John J. Crit
tendom, Silas Wright, Stephen A. Douglas
Henry A. Wise, Thurlow Weed, Horace
Greely, William Cullen Brvant, Ralph
Waldo Emerson, John G. Whittier, etc.
Mr. Downing has not only succeeded as a
public man, but has also shown marked busi
ness ability. He owns a very valuable estate
prominently located on the most fashionable
thoroughfare of Newport. The Downing
and Casino stores are the most fashionable
of the city. Mr. Downing, having retired
from business, has placed the burden of his
old establishment upon other shoulders. His
past at least is secure, and all over it he has
written the grand word, success.
But, pause! This is not the time or place
for eulogy. I leave the analysis of Mr.
Downing’s irreproachable public and private
character to the mind and pen of his biogra
pher. 1 have simply sketched the leading
events of his glorious life. He needs no lau
rel wreath from my feeble mind; no gar
land of words from my hasty pen. His life
speaks with matchless eloquence of the
greatness of his intellect and the nobility of
his soul; and a simple statement of his
work would be the brightest crown of glory
that could be placed upon his brow, when
ever God sees fit to end his 'eventful and
illustrious career. T. McCants Stewart.
Mrs. Julia Ward Howe says that Rhode
Island surpasses other States in the richness
and variety of her exhibit in the woman’s
department at New Orleans. Among the
articles displayed are a kiln and a ventilat
ing chimney, both invented by a lady, and
a heavy steel chain forged by a female black
smith.—New York Sun.
It is stated that Prince Albert Victor is
betrothed to the Princess Clementine,
daughter of the King of the Belgians,
THE QUAKER CITY.
The Ugly Club—Colored. School Di
rectors—The Bergen Concert—So
cial.
Philadelphia, March 2,-Since my last
letter we have had our municipal election,
finm th° ng the , flot ? a,n a »d jetsam gathered
£i h of „P° htlcs were three school
ian? ?J Mr ; H ? rry ^n^Fllow of the sth
? f the 7th and Wm
■ the Bth. To be successful
fHrih CUnn i S ° ffice is tantamount to a
further elevation up the ladder of political
preferment, and no doubt either or all of
these gentlemen, if the'political bee is in his
bonnet, can in the near future sit in the
^ounc! Is of our city and mayhap our legisla
tive assembly. 6
The Bergen Concert is one of the absorb
ing topics, and from the unusual array’ of
talent will no doubt draw a crowded house.
Miss Mary Harper is one of our rising elo
cutionists, and in conjunction with a musi
cal company, known as “The Stevens,” gave
a fine entertainment on Thursday last for
the benefit of Berean Presbyterian Church,
Kev. Matthew Anderson pastor.
The Caterer’s Club are making extensive
Pk e ^t bonß for their annual reception on
the 26th inst., and from the present outlook
it bids fair to surpass all their previous
efforts. Next Monday is their annual elec
tion and banquet, which means a gastro
nomic treat of the highest order. They
recently presented Mr. Andrew F. Stevens
with a handsome gold medal, in apprecia
tion of his great interest in the organization.
Last Monday night a Capt. Rohmer called
a meeting of citizens at Odd Fellows’ Hall
to explain to them the plans for a beneficial
association he had projected. The big in
«?nnn ent %k f $ 25 a week when sick and
JI J)00 at the expiration of ten years was
sufliciont inducement for a large gathering.
Mr. Isaiah Wears questioned him very
closely and it finally adjourned without any
thing definite being accomplished. It is
always well to analyze a thing where ones
pocket is in question, and in this they
showed good sense. , J
^ eknda Jackson, former matron of
the Home tor Aged and Infirm Colored Per
sons, died a few days ago and was buried
from the home of William Still, Esq. Mr
George Bordley entertained the Ugly Club
at dinner on Sunday last. It is said to have
>een a fine affair. The members of the
club, consisting of Messrs. Bordley, Stevens
Page, DeWitt, Warrick, Coleman and Hol
land dined, together with the following in
vited guests: Messrs. Cowdry, Roberts, Bol
iver, Cornall, Needham, Osborne and Min
ters. Mr. Ihihp Roberts has since been
elected a member. Six of the original Jubi
lee Singers, with five new faces, are to give
a concert at Association Hall to-night. Our
colored military, the Gray Invincibles, have
been in a sea of trouble for several days
owing to an assignment away from the State
troops. Ihe matter was not the fault of
any one here, and has been •prop°rlv ad
justed. They will now take their proper
position with the best discipline and
equipped State military in the country.
Mrs Patterson of New York is visiting
I hiladelphia as the guest of Mr. and Mrs
Stevens. Miss Maria Platt of Chicago is
also here, stopping with Mr^. Mills, South
11th street. Bethel Literary is flourishing
under the lead of its president, R. J. HeL
^ nd T-k Esq ’ X hey , have a ® llr P H ced choir at
St. Ihomas Church that is attracting large
congregations. Mrs. F. M. Jackson-Coppin
is pushing her Industrial School project
wuth vigor. It is a crying shame that her
efforts are not better seconded. The Sev
enth Young Women’s ChristiairTemperance
Union of Philadelphia was organized on
Wednesday evening at the house of Mrs
Frances E. W. Harper. The following offi
cers were elected: President, Mary E. Har
per,. secretary, Esther Reese; treasurer
Lizzie Burrell. The meetings are held
weekly, Thursday evenings, at Mrs. Har
per’s house.
Hartford Notes.
Celestial Lodge, 2093, G. U. 0. of 0. F.
had a Thanksgiving sermon preached to
them by Rev. G. H. M. Bell, at the Pearl
Street Church last Sunday. The discourse
was on Odd Fellowship and was ably ren
dered. A sum of money was given Mr.
Bell by the Order in a neat speech by the
P. G. M., and was followed by a special col
lection. Mrs. Emma Townsend met with
an accident on the 25th ult., by falling and
breaking her arm. A large party of ladies
and gentlemen enjoyed a sleigh ride to Mid
dletown last Thursday night. Mrs. John
Stanton died to-day. Mrs. Wm Mitchell
has been very sick, but is fast improving. The
Brilliant Star club will give their annual re
ception in April. The Freeman can be
found at J. W. Brotten’s, State street; A.
Petterson’s, Pearl street; C. H. Williams,
South Ann street.
Madam V. A. Montgomery writes us to
say that the reason she and Miss Magnan
disappointed the Bolden Drum Corps on the
23rd was due to the failure of the letter to
arrive containing the car-fare usual in suet
cases Until the day after the entertain
ment. —Ed.
Elmira Notes.
The Banneker Literary Association of
Bethel Church is having very pleasing meet
ing every Thursday evening. Those who
love the arts and sciences are taking active
part. Rev. Jones preached twice last Sab
bath at Bethel A. M. E. Church, the pastor
having gone to Owego to assist in a special
service. Rev. W. R. Burrill of the Shiloh
Baptist Church received several into com
munion last Saturday night. The reception
tendered Miss H. Vinton Davis last Tuesday
evening by Theodore Steward was a pleas
ant affair. Mrs. Lovisa Struthers had both
lower limbs severed from her body by the
cars near the Erie depot last Tuesday, while
she looked death in the face, she sang
“Safe in the arms of Jesus.” Her sisters
will take charge of the three little girls she
left. Mr. Baxton and wife of Watkins were
in the city last week visiting friends. Mr.
Stephen Swails of Washington, D. C., is in
town visiting bis relatives. Rev. L. M.
Beckett stopped in Monday as he passed on
his way from Owego to Washington.
TERMS : s^s^^
CONTENDING FOR THE RIGK
SERMON TO THE G. U. O OF
O. F.
A Crystal Wedding-Frank Bland
Gen. Walker’s Lecture on the
Census—Social Gossip.
Boston, Mar. 3.—That our colored citi
zens are thoroughly alive to the importance
th i eir S ¥ll ’ lts has been well
shown this week. Besides an almost breath
less interest in the case now pending in the
Superior Court, a step has been made wl Lb
must produce some practical good. At the re
cent meeting held for the purpose of exrt'ss
mg our indignation at the outrages perpe
trated on us, a committee was appointed to
carry the spirit of the resolutions into effect.
1 Ins committee and some of the leading cit
izens appeared before the House committee
on judiciary last Thursday morning and
presented the draft of a bill increasing the
penalty for such violations of the law as
has been spoken of already. The bill wrs
drawn by Judge James Russell, an old and
true friend of the race and is so broad that if
it becomes a law no discrimination need be
eared hereafter. The Judge also appeared
before the committee and argued at length
in its favor. The fact that there was°no
opposition at the hearing, leads us be’i>ve
the committee will report it to the house at
an early date. It is no doubt a sav’ere dis
appointment to many to hear that the cases
m the Superior Court against the rink man
agers have been again postponed. This time
as before, it is the white people who cause
the delay.
Ihe fifth annual thanksgiving sermon to
f be S’ °f F ’ was deB vered in
Charles Street Church, Sunday eveni ß g by
P. G. M., Rev. F. J. Cooper of Newport, R.
1. Ihe attendance of members of the order
was unusually large. The Patriarchs wore
their handsome regalia and made an impos
ing appearance. The other branches of the
order, including the Households of Ruth
wore dark clothes with roseates according
to degree. District Master A. B. Latti
more called the assemblage to order and
after the singing of the opening ode by the
order, a fervent invocatory prayer was
made by P. G. M., J. T. Jenifer, who acted
as chaplain for the ocoasion. Excellent se
lections by the choir followed and then the
Rev. F. S. Cooper was introduced, th} whole
body r !S in £ and honor ing him in hearty
Odd fellow style. He took the words oc
curring in James iv-17,as the scriptural basis
of his theme—“Dilegence required in Odd'
fellowship and Christianity.” In eloquent
language the reverend gentleman reviewed
the nobleness of the principles of the order
logically showing that the requirements of
Odd f ellowship should be strictly observed
and impressively calling attention to the
fact that the weight of Christian duties and
the obligations of Odd Fellowship were very
similar. He was attentively listened to
throughout. At the close after a liberal col
lection had been gathered the order rose and
sang the closing ode. The friends of the
order—and they are legion—were out en
manse, although the rain made it unpleasant
for many.
Mr. J. F. Ransom who has been seriously
ill is now convalescing.—We notice thal the
newest car on the Highland Railway bears
the name of Wendell Phillips.—Emanuel
Sullavon of New Bedford accompanied by
Mrs. Sullavon and their little child was in
town last week. They stopped at? Mrs
Piper’s on North Russell street.
Mr. Frank Bland informs us that so many
of his patrons were so highly pleased with
his concert in Tremont Temple that he is
considering the feasibility of giving another
in April to meet this almost general de
mand.
Gen. Francis A. Walker, President of the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, de
livered a lecture la t Friday evening, in lis
course upon the “Census.” His subject
was the “Census and the colored race,” and
he showed just how much progress we have
made, analyzed the elements, poinied out
the breakers and the hindrances now be
fore us. The lecture was largely attended,
almost solely by white people though.—Mr.
and Mrs. Simon Morris of 34 Melrose street
celebrated their crystal wedding last even
ing. A large number of friends and rela
tives attended and many handsome presents
in crystal and glass were received. The
complimentary testimonial to Mr. M. W.
Overton by Miss Louise A. Derdenger, the
talented elocutionist, occurred last evening
in Patriarchate Hall and was a grand suc
cess. The frequent bursts of applause
which interrupted her renditions showed
how thoroughly she had won the hearts of
her auditors. After the concert those so
inclined continued their pleasure by trip
ping the light fantastic toe.—We under
stand that A. H. Grimke, /Esq., is an ap
plicant for a position at the State House in
the board of health, luacy and charity.—
Mr. J. Gordon Street, the former corres
pondent of The Freeman,left to-night for the
South, carrying with him the good wishes
of his host of friends. The children of the
Twelfth Baptist Sunday School gave an en
teresting and successful concert to-night
under the direction of Miss R. M. Washing
ton. —Items of interest will lie gladly re
ceived at 18 Cambridge street, where copies
of The Freeman may be obtained and any
business -regarding The Freeman can ba
transacted. Stewart E. Hoyt.
Middletown (N. Y.) Notes.
The memorial services and quarterly meet
ing at the A. M. E. Church here, was a
grand success. The little church was
packed all day, love feast at 10 a. m. At
11 A. m., Rev. T. T. B. Beed, pastor,
preached a memorial sermon on the life and
character of the late Rt. Rev,- William
Fisher Dickerson—text'“Know ye not that
there is a prince and a great man fallen this
day in Israel?” Elder Reed’s picturesque
portrayal of the life and character of Bis
hop Dickerson, was glittering in all its
parts, with the Christian work and exces
sive labor of our lamented. Both saints
and sinners wept. Rev. Adam Jackson,
pastor of A. M. E. Zion Church, preached
at the same church, 3 p. m., an abl^ sermon,
and the pastor again at 7 p.m.; after com
munion two ladies were received qu proba*
tion.

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